The embers danced along my fingertips. What was happening to me? Something stirred in the hall. I clasped my hands together and hid them between my thighs. The wooden floorboards creaked in agony underneath the weight of my step father. I scrambled into the corner of my room, I tightened the frayed blanket around myself, only my eyes peeped out. The slither of light illuminating the bottom of the door was smothered. The beads of sweat trickled down the curve of my nose. My thighs burned. The pain intensified with each second. Rage flowed through my veins like molten lava. The door opened. My step father’s insidious, glittering eyes could be spotted. Unable to restrain myself or the force within me, I stood. My hands reached out and hate flickered behind my eyes. The flames engulfed him, the house, and me.
– Ermisenda Alvarez
I had heard stories, fiction I always thought, about instantaneous combustion, you know, those people who just burst into flames without being around anything that was on fire. I didn’t believe in it though.
There was also that book I read a few years back that was written by Stephen King, Firestarter. Last year I saw a movie called Hellboy that had a girl in it there would ignite into flames when enraged and not be consumed by them. Yet, that was all what I would call science fiction, until now. But what had I just done and how did I control it so that it didn’t happen again!
As I ran away from the burning house, for the first time since it happened last April, I was glad that my mother had passed on so that she didn’t have to see this, deal with what was taking hold of her baby girl. I heard sirens echoing behind me as I moved further through the woods behind our house. Good thing that I took all those years of drama class, I was gonna have to put on the performance of my life later on when I pretended to just be getting home.
To have to feign distress over the death of that monster I called my step-father would need a command performance. Oh how I hated him!! Even before mother had passed on, I hated him for what he did to her mostly. Sure, he was mean to me but left me alone for the most part, he beat her and raped her when she was unwilling to have sex with him. He threatened to kill her almost every day if she ever tried to leave him again.
She had taken me and ran about 8 years ago and he found us, dragging her back kicking and screaming. Then he beat her so bloody that I thought she would die for sure. He refused to take her to the hospital, so it was left to me to care for her when he was gone to work at night. She didn’t leave the house for 4 months, she couldn’t even walk for 2 of them.
“I got him back for you, mama! I gave him a taste of hell before he even got there. Now watch me get away with it here on earth and you ask Jesus to cover my sin up there, will ya?”
Teresa Marie 12/10/11